Whenever there was prosperity without peace, that prosperity didn’t last very long. You want prosperity? I know everybody wants prosperity. But true prosperity will never come without true peace.
And that’s why peace is important for all of us on this planet, not just in Colombia. On this planet, we are killing each other. We’re destroying each other. And we need to understand the value of human life, not the value of some ideas, some philosophies, but the idea of what truly a human being is.
– Prem Rawat
It was a Greek philosopher who said once, “You are never happy if you get what you don’t want.” Tricky words. If you get what you don’t want, you’re not happy. And even if you get what you do want, you still won’t be happy because you won’t be able to keep it. That’s the problem.
So many families, finally they get everything going and the husband dies. “Oh, terrible, what’s going to happen now?” Children grow up too fast; they start bossing you around. You’ve been bossing them around? Wait! You will get a taste of your own medicine. They will boss you around. They will start telling you things.
You had the child because you wanted a child—because you thought all these beautiful, lovely thoughts about having a child, “How sweet the child will be.” And now you are going to be on your bed without a second of sleep, thinking, “Where are they? Why are they not home? It’s already past midnight. What are they doing?” You can’t keep it! Can’t keep it!
You finally got your promotion; you finally got your promotion that you had been waiting for, waiting for, waiting for. And after you have got your promotion, you realize that there are twenty other people wanting the same chair. The one before, there were only five wanting that chair. This one, twenty more....
And if you go to the next one, it’ll be forty more, and if you go to the next one it’ll be a hundred more. And now it’s a matter of, you make one mistake—one mistake—and your chair is gone; promotion is gone. Because you can’t keep it! You can’t keep it; you can’t keep it; you can’t keep it.
Because there is a change afoot, and you don’t like changes. You don’t want changes; you don’t want anything to change. You, even though you want your son who is three years old to grow up, you don’t! You want that child to just stay that way. And you want your wife who’s so pretty to stay that way. And you want your husband who is young to stay just that way.
But everything is changing, changing, changing, changing, changing—and so are you. But you don’t know. Why don’t you know? Because you don’t know yourself. You know your friends; you know your neighbors; you know other people, but you don’t know you.
That’s what Socrates says, “Know thyself.” Knowledge of the self! “All knowledges are good; knowledge of the self is the supreme.” When you know yourself, now you know who you are.
– Prem Rawat
But what is a conflict? You see, conflict does not begin on the outside; conflict begins inside. The war begins in the minds of human beings, and then you see the outside expression.
And what is the outside expression? Innocent people die, destruction, lives and families ruined, prosperity gone. All the things that we don’t want become the outside expression of the conflict that is inside the human beings.
First thing, first thing…we have to learn how to respect. Respect who? First, you have to learn how to respect yourself. Now, most people think “respect” is good manners: “Oh, hello, how are you, thank you very much,” smile, this and that....
That’s just manners, good manners. There’s nothing wrong with good manners, but respect is different. It’s more than just manners. And that respect has to begin with you. When you respect yourself, then you can respect other fellow human beings.
Right now, people are ready to kill each other because of differences of opinion. “You believe in this; I believe in this. I don’t like you; I’m going to kill you.” Well, what is the point of your belief if it is destroying other human beings? What is the point of having something that promotes conflict, when just as easily you can have the peace which resides inside of you?
You know, is darkness truly far away from light or light far away from darkness? No! It’s like one coin: one side is darkness; the other side is light. Which one are we picking?
In our lives, we want to hear about how we can be prosperous, but really it takes a little bit of thinking. But there is no way that you can be prosperous without peace.
How many of you take baths? Thank you. How many of you like to go swimming in a swimming pool? So, it’s nice. It’s nice to be in that water. It’s nice. So, it’s nice to soak. It’s nice to swim in that water. Flex the muscles and feel that warmth or the coolness of the water. It’s refreshing, isn’t it? And how many of you would absolutely love to be in this beautiful Caribbean place – crystal clear water, cool wind, nice perfect temperature water, step into it and just float? Because of the salinity and feel the rejuvenation of the salt - and the water – and the wind. How many of you would do that?
Okay. So let’s take that one step further. So now I have established that you do like the ocean. If I were to take you and put you in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, thousands of miles from any land, would you like that?
So wait a minute, here we go. We do like the water, but there has to be something that has to be available as the comfort factor. And that comfort factor is land.
Well! In my analogy, peace is that land. Prosperity is the water. It feels good; it’s warm; it’s cool; it’s this, it’s that. The waves, the frolicking, the this, the that. I mean all of that good stuff. That’s all fine. So far it is in the context of something because you are not water based. Even though seventy percent of you is water, but you are land based. You need to breathe the air. You need to be on the stability of earth.
Terra firma under your feet when all is said and done. And in the same way, peace, joy, tranquility, serenity, clarity, understandings are your “terra firma.” When you are with these, all is truly well. And you may venture away from this, only if you are able to come back to it. Because this has to be readily available at all times.
You have the power.
All you need is that determination.
Don’t look at the other people. Look at yourself.
From the strength of you, you can change a nation.
From the strength of you, you can change your fortune.
From the strength of you, you can create a nation of
peace, tranquility, and prosperity for everyone.
A civilized nation, a beacon for the whole world to see and admire.
Religion has its place. Absolutely, religion has its place, and politics has its place. But so does humanity. You are human, first. If you lose your humanity, you lose everything. Then you become poor; then you become weak.
But so far that, on the face of this earth, we do not lose our humanity, we will be strong enough to help each other.
– Prem Rawat